United were beaten 2-0 at League Two leaders Swindon Town on Tuesday night, with Eoin Doyle scoring a brace on a night where two players made their league debuts.
The Iron made four changes going into the game, with Andy Butler, Abo Eisa, Kevin van Veen and John McAtee replaced by Jai Rowe for his first ever appearance for the club, Levi Sutton, Ben Liddle and George Miller.
After some early balls into the box by the high-flying hosts, which were dealt with, it was James Perch who had the first shot on goal of the night, firing wide from 25 yards after the ball landed to him.
The same player had the next chance too on eight minutes, receiving a knockdown by Miller but also struck his effort wide.
The first Swindon opportunity came with 11 minutes on the clock as Diallang Jaiyesimi was played into space on the left side of the area, but drew a comfortable save from Rory Watson at his near post.
Soon after, Rowe won a corner on the right flank, which was sent in by Liddle, whose searching ball only marginally missed the run of Rory McArdle.
The Iron then attacked down the left, with Alex Gilliead’s searching ball just avoiding the United attackers. Then, with 16 minutes gone, Scunthorpe won a free-kick on the right wing, which Liddle swung in but Perch was adjudged to be in an offside position.
Although Swindon had their moments of pressure, it was again the Iron with the next chance as Jordan Gabriel’s clever ball found Sutton, who advanced to the edge of the box but fired wide.
Although Jerry Yates was ruled offside, the first time Watson was really tested came with 25 minutes gone, as a right-wing cross from Jaiyesimi was sent in and he denied the frontman at point blank range.
On 27 minutes, Gilliead cut in from the right and unleashed a speculative effort that took a deflection and went just wide of Steven Benda’s bottom left-hand post. Liddle’s subsequent corner reached Jacob Bedeau, but the hosts got a block to it and cleared.
With 33 minutes gone, Paul Caddis used clever trickery to get into a good position on the right side of the Iron area, but Watson was equal to his low near post attempt.
Five minutes later, the same player struck the top of the woodwork with a curled free-kick from 25 yards.
Then, a combination of tenacity from Gabriel and Sutton saw the latter burst away from the Swindon midfield with the ball, eventually played to Gilliead on the left flank but he was just prevented from getting the cross in.
The hosts eventually took the lead with 42 minutes gone though, as Jaiyesimi got in down the left side and his cross was deflected into the path of Eoin Doyle, who converted home from close range, with Bedeau unable to steer the ball away from the target. It was harsh on the away side, who had defended resolutely.
Soon after, Yates fired high over the bar as he was teed up 25-yards from goal.
On 50 minutes, after stopping a couple of dangerous crosses into their box, the Iron won a free-kick deep on the left which Gilliead took and forced a corner as it was headed behind by a Swindon player. Liddle took it short, passing to Gabriel, who tried to trick his way into the box but was just thwarted.
With 56 minutes played, Lloyd Isgrove was played in down the right and fizzed a low cross into the box which McArdle turned behind for a corner.
Two minutes later, Michael Doughty attacked down the left side of the area but his low cross reached Yates, who saw the shot saved by Watson.
After an hour, Liddle tested Benda with a shot from the edge of the box after the ball was played into him by Gilliead on the left.
Soon after, he pulled up with an injury and was replaced by McAtee.
The substitute was next to come close, with 68 minutes played, but his attempt from the edge of the area, following a knockdown was saved by Benda.
Then, Sutton broke and played in McAtee down the right whose inviting cross was saved by the Swindon goalkeeper.
Moments later, McAtee passed to Rowe on the edge of the area, whose low effort was stopped by the home custodian. Rowe was then replaced by Ben El-Mhanni after an impressive first 73 minutes for the United first team.
It was in the 77th minute when Swindon doubled their lead though, as substitute Doughty threaded a ball through to Doyle, who clipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and into the net.
Doughty looked to play Admiral Muskwe in down the right but he lashed the ball wide at the near post.
Perch was replaced by Tom Pugh for his league debut with seven minutes left to play and four minutes later, McAtee tested Benda with a free-kick from the edge of the area, which the home goalkeeper put out for a corner.
During stoppage time, Gilliead then struck a low effort from the right side of the area which drew a good stop by Benda.
It proved the last chance of the match, and next up for Scunthorpe, who battled well throughout, is the home derby against Grimsby Town on Saturday (1pm kick-off).
SWINDON: Benda, Fryers, Broadbent, Isgrove (Muskwe, 61), Yates, Doughty, Jaiyesimi (Anderson, 73), Doyle, Caddis, Grant (Palmer, 86), Edmonds-Green.
SWINDON SUBS: Rose, Woolery, McCormick, Hope.
IRON: Watson, Perch (Pugh, 83), Gabriel, Butroid, Gilliead, Sutton, McArdle, Miller, Bedeau, Rowe (Ben El-Mhanni, 73), Liddle (McAtee, 62).
IRON SUBS: Lawlor, Songo’o, Butler, O’Malley.